Mark Tilley, 37 Chino, CA Sponsors: Dirt Bike Magazine Mark Tilley has come out to race at a few of the Muscle Milk/Transworld MX races in the 30+ Pro class, and after not being a full time racer for several years he still displays the skills and speed of his previous profession. Tilley now fills his weekdays up as an editor at Dirt Bike Magazine. It is always interesting to hear the outlook on the Transworld Race Series as well as get to know the editorial staff of other magazines, so we caught Tilley after he finished his second moto win of the day. What brings you out to the Transworld Fall Cup race today? These races are always fun to do, you’re not here all day long and they run two different tracks. I brought my son out and he is riding a little now, so he is riding his PW50 around a little bit too. What do you do at Dirt Bike Magazine. I am an editor at Dirt Bike Magazine. It is the competition, but the cool thing about magazines right now is everyone gets along. Donn Maeda is one of my friends, I get along with the whole staff at Transworld MX, and I’ve known them for a long time. That’s the fun part is you can come out here and race with them and have fun. How did you get into the magazine industry after racing? I actually had been a test rider for Dirt Bike since about 1997 and was doing a lot of testing for them for years. About 4 years ago an opportunity came up to be one of the editors of the magazine. I jumped on it and have been having fun ever since. How many years did you race when you were doing it full time? I raced outdoor nationals and supercross for 4 or 5 years. I was never one of the top guys so support was kind of hard to come by. Through test riding with the magazine, I started racing off-road and I got pretty good at it and there was a little more support there. I did that for another 5 years. I had my son almost 5 years ago and hung up the boots on the racing career and now it is just for fun. Which did you enjoy more, the motocross/supercross racing or the off-road?
I had a lot more fun racing off-road. It is much more of a family atmosphere and you get a lot more riding in. It is not as prestigious, but it has a more relaxed feel to it. To me it was more fun because I wasn’t racing as a career like I was in motocross. It was more of a hobby, I can do this, there are a certain amount of things I want to do, then I can move on to do something else.
What is your biggest accomplishment in your racing career?
Donn Maeda jokes with me about it being the Big 6 Grand Prix championship, I won that a few times. But being able to line up on the gate with Ricky Carmichael, Jeremy McGrath and some of the others was a big accomplishment. Sure they lapped me, but I was there on that given day, lined up with the 40 fastest guys in the world. To me, that’s a big deal, I enjoyed that. In racing I made my own milestones and I got to have fun doing it. I spent all of my money doing it, but I had fun and just enjoyed it.
Do you find it more fun to race now that it is just an occasional hobby than when it was more serious?
I actually don’t get to race very often, I have a 4 year old and a 7 month old, so I don’t race often at all. This was just one of those occasions where I can come out and race and my son can ride is PW50. I would like to get back into it more when he is a little older and he can ride around the track a little more. Now with the magazine side of it, I have no pressure at all and I can just go out and have fun.
Do you get out and ride the bikes the magazine gets quite a bit?
We do get to ride a decent amount, not as much as I would like because there is a lot of writing aspects of it going on, but it is nice to be able to jump on a motorcycle and go ride and just have fun. We are trying to work it into the schedule to get out and ride a more during the week. For us, we need rain to go out and test a lot of the bikes that we test, when it rains we never go to the track, we are out in the hills riding our trails and things like that.